Monday, June 27

New York major reviews death toll to 17

  • Several survivors were in critical condition and authorities warned the death toll could rise.
  • A malfunctioning space heater apparently sparked the 5-alarm fire.

NEW YORK – Cleanup crews in white suits cleared debris and trash Monday from the high-rise Bronx apartment building where choking smoke from an accidental blaze a day earlier killed 17 people, including eight children.

Authorities had initially put the death toll at 19. But Major Eric Adams, calling the tragedy at the Twin Parks North West complex an “evolving crisis,” updated the death toll at a news conference Monday.

“There was a bit of a double count,” Fire Department of New York Commissioner Daniel Nigro explained. However, dozens of people remained hospitalized from the nation’s most deadly apartment fire in almost 40 years. Thirteen survivors were in critical condition, and Nigro warned the death toll could rise.

Adams, who described the blaze as one of the “worst fires in modern times,” ordered flags to remain at half staff until sunset Wednesday in remembrance of the victims.

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